Our Land: Backyard Wildlife Sanctuaries

Our Land: Backyard Wildlife Sanctuaries


>>TOM UDALL’S LAST DAY IN
THE SENATE WILL BE JANUARY 2nd, 2021. AS HE AND LAURA DISCUSSED,
CLIMATE CHANGE DRAMATICALLY EFFECTS THE EARTH’S SYSTEMS
AND HUMAN COMMUNITIES WORLDWIDE. THE UNITED NATIONS WARNS
THAT ONE MILLION SPECIES WORLDWIDE ARE AT RISK OF
EXTINCTION DUE TO HABITAT LOSS AND POLLUTION. FRANKLY, THE PROBLEM CAN
SEEM OVERWHELMING, BUT THE FRIENDS OF THE VALLE DE ORO
NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE HAVE STARTED A PROGRAM THAT
HELPS PEOPLE MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THEIR OWN
BACKYARDS. HERE’S LAURA PASKUS AGAIN
WITH ‘OUR LAND.’>>FOR MOST OF US, THE
PROBLEMS OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND ITS IMPACT FEEL
OVERWHELMING. OFTEN IT SEEMS LIKE THERE’S
NOT MUCH ONE PERSON OR ONE FAMILY CAN DO TO HELP
WILDLIFE, ESPECIALLY IF YOU LIVE IN A CITY. BUT LAURAL LADWIG, A
GRADUATE STUDENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO,
HAS SOME IDEAS TO HELP WILDLIFE AND ALSO CONNECT
WITH NATURE.>>THE ALBUQUERQUE ABQ
BACKYARD REFUGE PROGRAM IS A MAJOR PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN
TONS OF ORGANIZATIONS HERE IN THE CITY. THE FRIENDS OF VALLE DE ORO
GOT IT STARTED AND BROUGHT ALL THESE PEOPLE TOGETHER TO
CREATE HABITATS FOR WILDLIFE HERE IN THE URBAN AREA.>>VALLE DE ORO NATIONAL
WILDLIFE REFUGE IS AN URBAN REFUGE ON A FORMER DAIRY
FARM IN ALBUQUERQUE’S SOUTH VALLEY, AND THE GOAL OF THE
BACKYARD REFUGE PROGRAM IS TO CREATE ISLANDS OF
WILDLIFE HABITAT TO SUPPORT AND CONNECT URBAN WILDLIFE
TO VALLE DE ORO AND OTHER PUBLIC LANDS IN THE AREA. LAURAL SAYS CREATING A
BACKYARD REFUGE IS A WAY OF SHARING OUR SPACE AND
INTENTIONALLY CREATING PLACES FOR WILDLIFE, AND IT
DOESN’T HAVE TO BE HARD.>>IF YOU DON’T HAVE A LOT
OF TIME AND MONEY TO INVEST, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS DO A
FEW THINGS, LIKE LEAVING LEAF LITTER. DON’T RAKE UP ALL OF YOUR
LEAVES, LEAVE SOME SPOTS WHERE BUTTERFLIES CAN LAY
THEIR EGGS UNDERNEATH AND OTHER BUGS CAN HIDE, AND
THOSE BUGS CAN BE FOUND BY SPOTTED TOWHEES POKING
AROUND, AND THRASHERS, AND ALL SORTS OF GREAT BIRDS.>>IN ALBUQUERQUE’S MIDTOWN
NEIGHBORHOOD, LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT JILL BROWN HAS
ALREADY TURNED HER BACKYARD INTO A REFUGE, AND IT’S A
PLACE SHE AND HER FAMILY SPEND A LOT OF TIME.>>THE YARD IS A COMBINATION
OF OUTDOOR LIVING PLUS THE WILDLIFE IN JUST A NICE
ESTHETIC DESIGN. SO WE HAVE HUMMINGBIRDS,
BEES, BUTTERFLIES USING A LOT OF THESE PLANTS IN HERE.>>YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE BACKYARD
REFUGE PROGRAM. IN FACT, YOU DON’T EVEN NEED
A BACKYARD. THERE ARE THINGS THAT YOU
CAN DO AT YOUR APARTMENT THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR
WILDLIFE AND FOR YOU. I’M NOT A LANDSCAPE
ARCHITECT AND I DON’T HAVE A TON OF TIME OR MONEY, BUT
HAVING A WILDLIFE HABITAT IN MY BACKYARD IS IMPORTANT TO
ME. SO I ASKED THE PROGRAM’S
JUDITH PHILLIPS TO COME ON OVER AND GIVE ME SOME IDEAS.>>SO, HOW WOULD YOU FILL IN
SOME OF THE, LIKE, HOLES FOR WILDLIFE HERE?>>WELL, THAT WALL IS A
GREAT WALL FOR MAYBE THE NATIVE CLEMATIS, THE WESTERN
VERSION OF THE FLOWER. JUST MORE LAYERS. SO YOU COULD PUT SOME GROUND
COVER, SOMETHING MAYBE LIKE THE NATIVE FOUR O’CLOCK IN
FRONT OF THE CHICKENS, OR ONE OF THE EVENING
PRIMROSES. THEY ATTRACT HAWK MOTHS, AND
THAT WOULD DRIVE THE CHICKENS CRAZY.>>AT MY OWN HOUSE, I’VE
SPENT PLENTY OF TIME RIPPING UP LANDSCAPING FABRIC THAT
DOESN’T ALLOW WATER TO SEEP INTO THE GROUND AND REACH
TREE ROOTS, AND HAULING OFF GRAVEL.>>I THINK IT WAS A REALLY
UNFORTUNATE THING THAT PEOPLE INTERPRETED XERISCAPE
AS MEANING PULL OUT THE PLANTS AND SPREAD ROCK
EVERYWHERE, BECAUSE THAT’S NOT WHAT IT WAS ABOUT AT
ALL. AND I REALLY THINK THAT THE
ONLY REASON THAT HAPPENED IS BECAUSE THAT’S SORT OF A
NO-BRAINER. PLANTS ARE SO MUCH MORE
INTERESTING, AND THEY SUPPORT SO MUCH MORE LIFE
THAT THEY’RE ALL-AROUND MORE HEALTHFUL FOR PEOPLE AS WELL
AS FOR WILDLIFE.>>JUDITH SAID PEOPLE SHOULD
COME UP WITH A PLAN BEFORE HEADING TO THE NURSERY. THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU HAVE
SPACE FOR IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR LOW TO THE GROUND
PLANTS, OR SOMETHING THAT WILL GROW BIGGER, AND
UNDERSTAND WHEN PLANTS BLOOM SO YOUR NEW PLANTS SUPPORT
WILDLIFE FROM SPRING ALL THE WAY THROUGH SUMMER AND FALL. AND YES, SOMETIMES NEIGHBORS
QUESTION CHANGES. EVEN IN ALBUQUERQUE, SOME
PEOPLE WANT MANICURED LAWNS, AND THEY’RE USED TO SEEING
NONNATIVE PLANTS. IF YOU PARTICIPATE IN THE
PROGRAM, YOU CAN GET A YARD SIGN THAT HELPS PEOPLE
UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’RE DOING, AND JUDITH HAS OTHER
IDEAS, TOO.>>I ALSO THINK THAT GOOD
IDEAS SPREAD DOWN THE BLOCK. SO WHEN PEOPLE — I REALLY
ALWAYS TRY, WHEN I’M DESIGNING A LANDSCAPE, TO
PUT SOMETHING, SEVERAL THINGS THAT ARE REALLY SHOWY
OUT FRONT SO THE NEIGHBORS WILL WALK BY AND SAY, WHAT
IS THAT? AND THEN PRETTY SOON,
THERE’S ONE A FEW HOUSES DOWN. AND SOME OF THE PLANTS ARE
QUITE IRRESISTIBLE. I KNOW THEY’VE FOLLOWED ME
HOME FROM NURSERIES.>>FOR LAURAL, THE BACKYARD
REFUGE PROGRAM IS A WAY TO CHANGE THE IDEA THAT WE HAVE
THAT NATURE IS OUT OF PLACE IN OUR CITIES AND SUBURBS. BY PROVIDING MICRO-HABITATS,
WE CAN CREATE A MOSAIC ACROSS OUR CITY
FOR WILDLIFE. THAT’S ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT
AS THE CLIMATE CHANGES. SOME PLANTS WILL SURVIVE
BETTER THAN OTHERS AS THE REGION WARMS, AND WILDLIFE
WILL FACE GREATER AND GREATER CHALLENGES.>>ACTIVELY TAKING CARE OF
SOMETHING, ESPECIALLY IN YOUR YARD, MAKES THEM ALMOST
A PART OF YOUR FAMILY. REALLY PAYING ATTENTION TO
HOW THEY LIVE THEIR LIVES, AND THINKING ABOUT HOW YOU
MIGHT BE ABLE TO MAKE THAT EASIER IN THIS VERY
CHALLENGING TIME, THAT ACT OF CARING IS VERY FULFILLING
AND IMPORTANT FOR THE WILDLIFE.>>FOR ‘OUR LAND’ AND NEW
MEXICO InFOCUS, I’M LAURA PASKUS.

Posts created 40981

One thought on “Our Land: Backyard Wildlife Sanctuaries

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top